Organ retransplantation

If one’s body rejects a transplanted organ, can the organ be removed and transplanted into someone else? What if the recipient dies of unrelated causes, even years after the fact? is the organ possibly suitable for retransplant? Is there an upper limit to the number of times an organ may be transplanted, either medically or legally?

Once the organ begins to be rejected, either it or its host are generally history. If you take it out of the host and put it into somebody else, it’s still got some cells in it from the previous host which are still kinda peeved at the invader. Then you’ve got a three-way land war going on inside the second host’s body, and that gets ugly pretty quick.

You know, my last girlfriend was a urologist, and I asked her something similar: “If I donated a kidney to someone who then died of an unrelated cause, could I get my kidney back?”

Her answer was no, because after living for a while in the new person’s environment with exposure to pathogens and antigens unique to that person, the organ would no longer be a match for my system. If they returned my kidney I’d have to go on anti-rejection drugs and I’d be less healthy overall.

So from that I surmise the answer to the OP is also no, because the organ recipient would have to be a tissue match for the both the original donor AND the second owner of the organ.


So, can we have your liver then?